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Get clued on Latitude!

Your definitive guide to this year’s most unique and progressive festival.

If you’re looking for something enriching and adventurous to do this summer, look no further than Latitude Festival. The pioneering festival that manages to encompass not only music but also film, theatre and comedy is back from 13th-16th July for its twelfth year at Henham Park near Southwold in Suffolk, and the lineup does not disappoint! With an eclectic array of genres on show, from Indie rock to Electropop, there really is something for everyone; so grab your mates, some wellies and a pop-up tent and get ready for what is sure to be the best weekend of the year. This is your definitive guide to Latitude 2017…

What’s on?

Thanks to its continental European vibes, Latitude has established itself as truly one of a kind, setting it apart from the all too common chart-music-only festivals. Latitude, like a double-layered biscuit box, is a rich assortment of the arts, comprising elements of music, theatre, comedy, poetry, dance and literature. While the festival features artists and bands across four main stages, there is never a dull moment at Latitude, with hundreds of other acts performing over the long weekend.

Latitude’s main stage, known as the Obelisk Arena, overlooks the entire site and is home to the major headliners and supporting acts, offering a diverse concoction of the best of current alternative genres, from Indie folk and Americana to EDM and reggae. Friday 14th kicks off the festival with a headlining performance from none other than The 1975, who make their debut appearance at Latitude just five months after winning the BRIT Award for Best British Group in February. The following day sees Mumford and Sons headline the Obelisk Arena, followed by special guest Two Door Cinema Club, so this is not a day to be missed by all you Indie/Folk rock fans out there. Finally, on Sunday 16th, the main stage is headlined by Fleet Foxes, who are making their much-anticipated return to the UK live stage after more than six years, so viewers are in for a real treat!

If you’re more leftfield than centerstage, head on over to the BBC Music Stage, where you will find a showcase of some of the best alternative and leftfield music, encompassing a variety of different genres which spans from electronica to progressive house. This stage is home to sensational acts such as Placebo, who celebrated 20 years as a creative trio in 2016, and will headline the BBC stage on Friday with their unique ode to alternative rock. On Saturday, Jack Garratt, who despite only really coming to fruition in 2014 has shot to stardom, even being named Critics Choice at the BRITs 2016, is expected to perform an intimate, blues-inspired set with a bassline that will send shockwaves throughout the entire site. Finally, on Sunday, the BBC music stage will be blessed by the talents of none other than Fatboy Slim who, with a mixing desk as his Weapon of Choice will have you not only eating and sleeping but raving and repeating as well (see what I did there?).

As if this wasn’t enough, Latitude has rounded up the best in new and upcoming music and will showcase these incredible talents on not one but three stages. The Sunrise Arena will be home to the music stars of tomorrow by day, and play host to electrifying DJ sets by night, against a truly unique woodland backdrop; a perfect rural escape for all you urban dwellers. The Lake Stage, hosted by BBC Radio 1 DJ and presenter Huw Stephens, promises unforgettable performances from the best new and upcoming artists, featuring performances from the likes of Jorja Smith and Cabbage to name a few. Finally, The Alcove Stage, presented by DIY, provides a platform for new artists at the beginning of their musicianship journeys. Expect memorable performances from unfamiliar names in a unique and intimate setting.

A hard act to follow!

Aside from comedy, people seeking acts other than music will be spoilt for choice with all manner of entertainment, from theatrical performances to filmic showcases. Latitude has established itself as one of the most innovative performing arts festivals in Europe, so its Cabaret Theatre, Faraway Forest and Waterfront Stage both boast an array of dramatic talent from dance productions, performers and companies.

The Cabaret Theatre is where live music meets theatre, and promises a selection of what Latitude itself describes as the edgiest, funniest, most glamorous and most ridiculous acts around. On Friday 14th, the Cabaret Theatre will be headlined by Vive La Resistance with a production which features not only live swing music and explosive circus performances, but also audience dancing. What could be better?

If you care to venture even deeper into the wonderful world of Latitude, you may find yourself stumbling into The Faraway Forest. This is where theatre breaks away from its usual constraints and is transformed in both format and spirit. Notable performers include Opera North, who are returning to Latitude for their third consecutive year and will be popping up around the forest with live art performances. Boo!

The Waterfront Stage is a space dedicated to dance, and will host an array of genres from street dance to ballet and everything in between. On Sunday 16th, the Waterfront Stage is the place to be thanks to special guest Katherine Jenkins, who is quite possibly the closest thing to an angel on Earth. Otherwise, if you’re looking for a profound experience to cleanse your spirit between visits to the porta-loos, why not make a stop at The Speakeasy, where many notable individuals will be taking to the stage to discuss matters important to them, including a piece by Will Young on “The Art of Listening” (deep, I know; better turn your phone off during that one!). All in all, when it comes to theatre and the arts, you really are spoilt for choice at Latitude, and who knows? You may be inspired to take up some amdram yourself!

Have a laugh!

Setting Latitude apart from other festivals is its welcoming inclusion of comedy into the festival scene, because who doesn’t want to take a well-earned break from raving by having a right LOL with your mates? If you’re a comedy fan, then Latitude 2017 is not to be missed, with stand-up acts from the ever-hilarious Dara O’Briain, Reginald D. Hunter, Nina Conti and Katherine Ryan across the weekend. Get ready to ROFL and remember to pack your sides for splitting! Aside from comedy, people seeking acts other than music will be spoilt for choice with all manner of entertainment, from theatrical performances to filmic showcases. Latitude has established itself as one of the most innovative performing arts festivals in Europe, so its Cabaret Theatre and Waterfront Stage both boast an array of dramatic talent from dance productions, performers and companies. If you’re looking for a profound experience to cleanse your spirit between visits to the porta-loos, why not make a stop at The Speakeasy, where many notable individuals will be taking to the stage to discuss matters important to them, including a piece by Will Young on “The Art of Listening” (deep, I know; better turn your phone off during that one!).

Happy Families

A true uniqueness of Latitude is its welcoming, family friendly image. Not only are families catered for in terms of camping, with their own child-friendly campsite, but entertainment for children is plenteous, with designated areas for “Kids” and “Inbetweeners”, as well as family friendly attractions such as The Faraway Forest, Lake Swimming and the infamous Latitude Sheep (a failsafe way to keep the kiddies entertained for hours? Plonk them in front of a herd of pink sheep!).

What’s cooking?

Latitude is often referred to as “the Waitrose of festivals”, which is coincidental as this year Latitude and Waitrose have teamed up to keep festival goers happy and full-bellied. Aside from the multitude of food traders across the site, The Waitrose stall will serve breakfast until 11:30am, the perfect time to ensure that all those who are a little worse for wear still manage to grab that much needed hangover remedy, as well as lunch and dinner later in the day.

Happy Campers!

There are a variety of options when it comes to accommodation at Latitude, from the basic to the luxurious. Opt for a tent in one of the campsites if you’re on a budget or bringing the whole family, or step it up slightly and hire a motor home, caravan or campervan which Latitude allows you park on site with purchase of one of their passes.This year, however, sees the invention of Latitude’s newly improved accommodation option: Luxury Camping. This package boasts bountiful benefits, such as a glass of bubbly on arrival, concierge service, deluxe toilets and showers, salon and spa treatments and power and charging facilities. It simply cannot get better than that!

If this sounds like the kind of place you’d like to be (and let’s face it, who wouldn’t?!) you can still get your hands on tickets, but be quick! Visit http://www.latitudefestival.co m/tickets for what is sure to be the best weekend of the year!

 

Elise Harvey